Wednesday 28 September 2011

Winston and the puppy food.

Those of you who have been following the ramblings of this blog for some time will know that Winston Ocicat Cooke has a weight problem and it is this – he wishes to be heavier than we think is good for him and to that end he steals food whenever he can. If I’m slicing ham or cutting cheese, chopping chicken or fiddling with fish, he is there, stretching a delicate paw to snaffle a morsel – or several – for himself. It is no good putting such delicacies in a dish for him – he disdains them and prefers to pilfer.

I’m sure he is suffering a crisis of confidence lately. When Bertie first came to live with us five weeks ago (feels more like five years!) he was considerably smaller than Winston. Winston was quite happy about that since he had the upper paw. Now, though, Bertie is taller and heavier than Winston and I think Winston feels that he is shrinking and that is not really acceptable to him as he’s not yet four years old.

We have frustrated his efforts to nab nibbles from Bertie’s dish by placing the dish in the centre of Bertie’s pen. Bertie eats in his pen otherwise he would starve through the dastardly depredations of the devious older dogs - and Winston. Likewise, they would lose many of their rations to the eager jaws of a puppy who really, really likes their raw meat – heart, chicken, turkey, tripe – yum! He has small helpings of such delightful dainties and they disappear like snow in June into his champing chops – I fear he may become as greedy a gastronome as Winston, a destiny entirely possible for a Labrador, some might even suggest obligatory.

However, back to Winston and the pressing problem of his portliness. He is a very calm cat, a tranquil (ex) tom, a feline unflustered by the goings-on in his world. He doesn’t care for excessive exercise and soon wearies of workouts, choosing to chill on any one of several posing platforms, preferably in the sunshine which occasionally graces these isles. 

Thus, we ration his food carefully – it’s never good to starve a cat – and he enjoys it and we congratulate ourselves that yes, he is looking slimmer, even svelte, and he is displaying more dynamism – travelling from one lap to another and back again must burn a few calories, surely? What we have not grasped is that in the intricate intellect of this handsome fellow a plan is hatching.

Winston enjoys short sojourns in the garage where he plays out the part of heroic mouse-catcher and guardian of the house. (The garage is integral to the house.) He slips out when someone opens the house door and spends many a happy hour patrolling the perimeter, principally where the up-and-over door almost meets the garage floor (and a mighty draught howls through that gap in the winter!) He prowls and growls and terrifies spiders and ants and eventually he taps on the door to order the humans to let him back into the warmth and comfort of home.

As well as housing my car, the garage is a store for many things we can’t or don’t want to have indoors – ladders, workbenches, chainsaw – you get the idea. Also stowed out there are bird seed, bird fat cakes, fish food and Bertie’s puppy food. The lid of the fish food is usually firmly fitted to the bucket. The other day it had been knocked over and Winston was sampling it with great relish. Fish food smells very . . . fishy. Fish are cannibals!

At the weekend the garage door was not secured and Winston escaped into his own private playground. I thought nothing of it, supposing that he was lost in dreams of SuperCatdom but later, realising he had been gone for some time, I opened the door and out jumped Winston – out of the puppy food bin, that is, the lid of which had not been replaced properly. He was sated, gorged, replete – actually, full up and fit to bust.

So, back to square one!


  1. Well that sounds like a great place to live. And I'm jealous of his spot in the window.

  2. LOL ... wonderfully written, and the pictures of him are just gorgeous!

  3. Hahaha ! what a funny story ! I recognize in Winston my Arthur when he is in full shape, what he is now again. Of course as he had lost such a lot of weight we are so happy when he eats like a horse but also steals where he can ! Don't get up and leave your plate alone for a second, yesterday night he even kicked over the huge bin with empty catfood cans and others !

  4. Lovely post and great pictures too. :-)

  5. Ah, I enjoyed this. My 6 pound Tulip WOULD have a weight problem if I would allow her to. She LOVES to eat and could easily turn into a fat little dog. LOL. I won't allow her to do so. If only it were so easy for humans!

  6. Oh poor Winston. First an interloper and then on a diet!
    My daughter's cat got into the cupboard and chewed through the bag of cat food. The thing is there is always food in her bowl so we don't know why she did it. She isn't overweight.

  7. Oh, he's so sweet! I suspect his is not a weight problem, but a kleptomania problem.

  8. Winston is quite a character! He's a smart boy, too, figuring out how to get plenty to circumvent all of your efforts to put him on a diet.

  9. Simply beautifully captured shots...lovely reading!

  10. Is it the stripes that make them look chubby, contrary to fashion advice - Macc has a definite waddle to go with his perennial 'diet'.

    Isabel x

  11. Thank you all:-)
    Mary, I wish Winston only weighed 6 pounds - he's quite hefty!

  12. I am just imagining Winston jumping out of the puppy food bin, a smile on his face and a bulging tummy.

    My Cindi Lou was prone to weight gain until the kittens came. They keep her moving and more active, she has slimmed down a little.

  13. On my Goodness! Wait until I show HRH Theodorable a photo of Winston. He is gorgeous and she will swoon (in a very dignifeid manner, of course!)with kitty delight! My late Josephina had a terrible weight problem - she was a vacuum cleaner! But what a lovely and loving cat she was...

    Sending a special pat for Winston!

    (and I love the quote in your header!)
    Judy, South Africa

  14. I love that cat
    he is soooooo handsome!

    Have a great weekend.

    x Fiona

  15. Isabel, I'd like to think the stripes are to blame. I fear not!
    Maybe we should bring in some kittens for Winston, Squirrel Q;-)

  16. I love your story about Winston this week - and, by the way, your new haircut, a change while I have been away!

  17. You have such a way with words. And those pictures are the icing on top!


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